Linthoi Chanambam, a 16-year-old judoka from Manipur, won India’s first gold medal in the history of the Judo World Championships in Sarajevo on Friday.
Before this, no Indian judoka had won a single medal at any age group of the World Championships across genders.
Coming up with a run of four back-to-back ippons to enter the final of the World Cadet Championships – for judokas of age 18 or less – Linthoi faced Brazil’s Bianca Reis in the 57-kg category final on Friday evening, already having made history.
Linthoi took the early lead in the final with a waza-ari. She got a shido with seconds left on the clock but held out to win the match 1-0 and become the U18 world champion. This was India’s first-ever medal at this tournament, coming in the seventh edition of the Cadet Worlds, since its first edition in 2009.
No Indian has won a medal at Junior Worlds (U-21) or in the Senior World Championships in Judo before this either, let alone become the world champion.